Know Thy Enemy: Kitsap Pumas

highlanders 2

Ryan McQuillan

May 3, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Kitsap Pumas were founded in 2009 and play out of Bremerton, Washington. Since 2009 they play their home games at Bremerton Memorial Stadium.

Dressed in blue, white and gold the Pumas conquered the PDL in 2011 and brought home the cup. They had a very strong showing last season finishing with 32 points and a season record of 10-4-2. They were defeated in the Western Conference semi-finals by the Portland Timbers U-23s. Head coach James Ritchie hopes to carry this success into the upcoming seasons.

Returning for the Pumas are three veterans Zach Sampson, Dustyn Brim and Kyle Johnson.

New additions for the Pumas this season are Alejandro (Alex) Chavez, Robbie Tice, Brandon Scott, Anthony Halterman, Edgar Gomez and Aaron Fenlason.

Forward: The Pumas look to be a serious scoring threat this season with the new addition of Alex Chavez who was twice named All-American while playing at Kansas Wesleyan University; he was named All-Region Offensive Player of the Year twice and Newcomer of the Year while breaking the single-season scoring record in the KCAC with 32 goals. Robbie Tice is also a goal scoring who’s capable of creating dangerous scoring opportunities. Zach Sampson will also be returning for his third season with the Pumas after being a part of their championship squad.

Midfield: Edgar Gomez comes to Kitsap from Eugene Metros and will play center midfield. George Bundy and Brandon Scott are both versatile players in the back two-thirds of the pitch who will be able to fill holes both in the midfield and on defence. Kyle Johnson brings experience to this area of the field as part of the 2011 winning team.

Defence: Until the Pumas announce or sign new players they only have George Bundy and Brandon Scott to fill these roles.

Goal Keeping: There’s no shortage of depth in the net for the Pumas. They have Dustyn Brim from their 2011 winning season who’s shown the ability to anchor a team. They also have new-comers Anthony Halterman, who was captain in his junior and senior year at Depauw University, and Aaron Fenlason from the Southern California Seahorses PDL squad who can make big saves and distribute the ball well.

Player to Watch: Alex Chavez brings the highest amount of individual accolades with him to this squad after earning high praise and setting records in his days at University. He’s a player to watch not just for the game but for the season.

The Pumas are in the process of reassembling a core from their championship team in 2011 and have brought in several players from around the states. Matches between the Highlanders and the Pumas have been spirited to say the least; there have been cards and ejections. There are eight previous matches between these two teams with the Pumas having a slight edge going 4-1-3. They will kick-off the PDL season in Victoria May 4th against the Highlanders.